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SEO Content Strategy

SEO-certified specialists help with understanding why a content strategy is key
Do You Really Know How Your SEO is Doing?

SEO Certified Specialists

For nearly 15 years, Clarity has been designing and building high-performance websites. What exactly is a high-performance site you ask? Well, that depends on each client and what they want the site to do, and do well. Sometimes that's a CRO or UI-UX discussion, but more often than not, since most clients don't even know what those acronyms mean, it's an SEO discussion. They think that driving more traffic to the site fixes everything. And it often does. Even if your conversion rate is really low, if you get enough people there, the numbers will come. Most of the time we find that it's a combination of SEO and CRO problems that companies need to address to achieve that high performance that they're looking for. This article will focus mostly on the SEO aspect and the content strategy.

Now the Hard Word Starts

Building Out Your Content Strategy

This section could be 25 pages long, which would bore you to tears, so I'm going to summarize the entire process first, then focus just on the content part for the article:

  • Build your Master Keyword List
  • Define your Champion pages and their content
  • Optimize your Champions for your 4 new keywords AND your CRO strategy
  • Find all your Supporting pages for each Champion (i.e. articles, blogs, news items, videos, etc.)
  • Edit every supporting item, linking the 4 keyword variations to the appropriate Champion
  • Verify every URL in your sitemap.xml and make sure it's registered with Google, Bing, etc.
  • Build out your Media content map
  • Monitor in Moz to see how your Champions are doing
  • Never stop promoting (if you're not writing a champion, then it's a supporter!)
  • Support, monitor, support some more to get and then keep a Top 3 position for each keyword
Why Write the Content at all?

Deciding on a Content Strategy

The most common thing I hear during the start of every project is, "I inherited the website. I didn't write most of the content." So my next question is, "then who wrote it, and for whom?" Almost every time we evaluate the content once we've defined our target audience, the content isn't correctly written for that audience, or at least not written in the correct context. There has to be a deep dive into deciding who is coming to the site. Is it already the right audience? Are there enough visitors to accomplish our goals? Do we have to drive more traffic or convert more of the existing traffic? Is this an SEO or CRO problem? The strategy for each answer differs greatly. There's no need to prep your home for a huge Thanksgiving party if no one is coming. Conversely, there's no need to invite 50 people if all you've got is a 6-pack and a pizza.

So is it an SEO effort to drive more traffic? Meaning, are we writing for Google so that our content shows up in a ton of search results? If the answer is yes, then this is an exercise in keyword planning, and executing on a ton of highly targeted keyword content, followed by a ton of supporting content.

Or is it a CRO effort to convert more existing traffic? Meaning are we writing so that visitors see that we're experts and want to do business with us? If the answer is yes, then we need to follow some pretty crystal clear guidelines for conversion optimization. Most of the time, clients say it's both, but they don't know what they need to do to optimize for either.

It's More Than Just Fresh Content

Content Strategy for SEO

An SEO content strategy could take months to research and perfect, and I'm assuming that I've got about 3 minutes of your time, so I'll be brief. When writing for SEO, our target audience is most Google. Google is the most restrictive (except for keyword stuffing penalties that Bing does), so if we optimize our content within the Google guidelines, we'll do well across all the search crawlers. One caveat is that if you focus heavily on business management as your audience you target, Bing has a higher percentage of executives using it, so your display ads, PPC, etc. may be better focused on Bing, rather than Google. Anyway, back to writing content. If you understand how the search crawlers index content, then it helps in your content preparation. Remember that they don't just index websites. They index content. What's the difference? Well, it doesn't rank an entire site. It may rank a single article or blog post really well for a single keyword. So before you start writing or re-writing any content, get your master keyword list researched and approved.

Now we build our champions. There should be 1 champion per keyword / keyword phrase. The champion's responsibility is to be the best. The best page with everything perfected to convince and convert as many visitors that come to that page as possible. So we spend more time, more word count, more CRO perfection, more everything on this page. This page is our candidate. This page is promoted and supported by every other article, blog post, video, social posting, press release, etc. that targets the same keyword phrase. We only have 1 candidate per keyword. Every other piece of content, supports the candidates. How many champions do we have? One per keyword phrase that we want to win for. For Clarity, we've created roughly 75 champions and over 2,400 supporting pages for those champions. We're constantly updating, re-writing, re-linking and adjusting both our champions and supporting pages as the keywords we want to rank well, go up and down.

To optimize an article for SEO, there are a number of things or rules to follow:

  • Champions are much longer (to cover many keyword combinations)
  • Champions are written to target Google
  • Champions must be promoted (no one wins with only 1 vote)
  • Champions are adjusted as keywords perform better or worse
  • Champions are always in the Top Nav (Header and/or Footer)
  • Champions must be indexed in the sitemap.xml
  • Supporters normally only link to one Champion
  • Supporters must have all 4 anchor links to the keyword variants
  • Supporters can be blogs, articles, resources, videos, social posts, etc.
  • Supporters can be external (Social, YouTube, Press release sites, etc.)
  • Supporters are usually shorter
  • Supporters are targeted at additional long-tail keywords of low competition
  • Supporters with links to Champions count as "votes" (a Champion needs votes to win)
  • Supporters must be indexed for Google to count their vote
It's All about the 3-30-3 Rule

Content Strategy for CRO

So let's talk about the party. You've invited 10,000 people to your website for a party (good job with SEO). Are they going to have a good time? What is a good time? Are they going to stay? Are they going to tell others how bad it was? If you think in this fashion, you've got a much better chance to succeed or in our terms, convert. My governing thought during this phase is that if I drive 10,000 people to our website, how many of those people are going to find exactly what they were looking for, and that I've made them an offer they can't refuse? In other words, get them to convert, whatever a conversion is for you.

To start with, you need to live by the 3-30-3 Rule:

  • 3 Seconds
    You've got roughly 3 seconds after a visitor hits your page to let them know that they're in the right place for what they're looking for. This means that your H1, Tagline and H2 just became the most important elements on the page. If they don't think they're in the right place, they bounce, game over.
  • 30 Seconds
    If they feel like they're in the right place, they'll give you up to 30 seconds to "pitch" them. That means that your opening H2 and first 2 sentences better be good. Hit them with an interesting statistic, industry quote or differentiating factor (our solution is guaranteed to increase sales conversions by 30%, our clients typically reach their ROI in 9 months, etc.).
  • 3 Minutes
    If they like the pitch, they'll give you up to 3 minutes to learn more. Want to know why 90-second videos have such a high conversion rate? The 3-30-3 rule. So for your 3 minutes, what demo, story, content or info-graphic has the best chance of showcasing what you're trying to convince them to convert? Get that at the top.
  • CTA, CTA, CTA
    You've done great at SEO and got them to the page. You did great with CRO and got them through the 3-30-3 mark, now CLOSE them. Let them know exactly what you want them to do (i.e. Get a Free Quote, Register for the Webinar now, Get Your Free White Paper, etc.). If you don't ask, you won't convert.
It's a Long & Tedious Process

Clarity Can Help

It's difficult to get into the weeds to really help you understand what's needed to decide upon and execute and well-constructed SEO and CRO Content strategy. I've tried to at least hit the high-lights here, but Clarity's team of marketing experts are always available to assist. So whether you need someone to help you map out the strategy, teach your team how to execute, or do all the work for you, Clarity's team is here to help. Give us a call today, or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

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